WORKS BEYOND BLACKBOARDS
KSOR Guide to the Arts
by Deborah Colette Murphy
To create her designs, Christina uses hand tools made especially
for her by Jim Rich, a local blacksmith. Christina describes
them as tools to last a lifetime.
The irregular shapes of the stone slabs are often incorporated
into the composition. Sometimes they define it by abruptly
creating a sharp edge. The depth and smoothness of the
sculptures are inviting to the touch. It is hard to resist
running one’s fingers along the outline of a giant flower of to
trace a mountains ridge.
Christina’s style has evolved through the years. Earlier works
are almost line drawings etched on the slate. Her later works
carve deeper into the stone and are more three dimensional. Her
motifs are mainly figures, flowers and landscapes. The images
hint at forms leaving the imagination to interact with them.
Reality is implied; fantasy is inspired.
Since slate is so everlasting and versatile the pieces are used
in a variety of settings. Some are hung on walls like paintings
or tapestries. Some have been incorporated in architectural
designs in hearthworks and cornerstones. Others have been inlaid
as tabletops or serve as garden sculptures. The larger pieces
are massive and weigh several hundred pounds; the small ones are
The Slateworks Studio is attached to Christina’s living space
but the two really overlap.
One couch is covered with sheets and sheets of sketches. One
wall is papered with long scrolls of drawings, the design from a
mantelpiece. A large sturdy wood table dominates the room. Its
surface is covered with books and a work in progress. It faces a
wall made entirely of large stones. A small landscape sculpture
rests nonchalantly on a stone shelf.
Christina elicits from her environment. In New York City she
worked as a commercial artist. In the country she sculpts stone.
She came to this area to find a different way to express her
talents, herself. In these stone sculptures she has managed to
do just that.